World Trade Centers Association

DELIVERING SOLUTIONS TO HELP THE GLOBAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT

Keep members engaged

Tech Stack

HerokuPostgreSQLRuby on Rails

Expertise

BI & AnalyticsDigital Strategy & ConsultingEnterprise Portal Development

The background

The not-for-profit World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) has granted hundreds of licences for World Trade Centers across 92 countries. Its purpose is to create and support an international ecosystem of trade, investment, international business and economic development opportunities.

Our client was unhappy with its disparate technology infrastructure - parts of which had been created and were being maintained by different teams. Many of its applications were hosted in isolated environments which prevented them from communicating. As a result, WTCA was struggling with inaccurate and redundant data, a lack of accountability and incredibly high hosting costs.

The challenge

WTCA had several business needs that its current technology solutions were not addressing. The organization needed to build an extranet web portal that raised awareness of its global mission among the general public. Its existing applications needed to be consolidated into a unified, easily accessible member portal, and legacy applications needed to be maintained and managed until a new portal was launched.

WTCA needed to standardize the technology being used across its international network to meet its most pressing business needs. The organization chose Asahi Technologies – a team it was confident had a clear understanding of its business requirements and the right approach to building the solution – to help.

The solution

Phase one of our work began with a pilot project that focused on a service request management application. This allowed members of each World Trade Center to book meeting spaces and conference facilities, and request information from one another. Our team also integrated Discourse, a RoR (Ruby on Rails), internet-based discussion forum, to the digital platform, creating a secure channel for members in the same regions to discuss common issues.

Later, WTCA asked if we could make further enhancements to capitalize on the application’s excellent adoption rate. We changed the dashboard layout, tightened integration with the CRM system and added the ability to track additional member usage metrics.

Our team also created an application that could digitize the annual task of capturing license application information from WTCA licensees. We transferred the information to the digital portal and CRM in a way that required little manual intervention. Furthermore, we implemented security measures that had been recommended by a third-party security company, and that meant changes to the code base of many of WTCA’s applications. Our work ensured all of WTCA’s digital assets remained compliant and protected.

As part of our annual maintenance contract, we:

  • Ensured all applications continued to run smoothly
  • Provided detailed documentation and an in-person walkthrough of the applications, including a free 30-day warranty, to ensure they did exactly what the client needed
  • Carried out minor enhancements and periodic troubleshooting
  • Audited WTCA’s existing applications on Heroku – a service that allows developers to build, run and operate applications on the cloud – to allow our client to adopt cost-optimization measures that fit their resource requirements
  • Removed unnecessary servers
  • Migrated existing applications to ones that delivered the same performance more affordably

The impact

Our services increased engagement across WTCA’s members, staff and administrators, kept everyone accountable and doubled the portal’s adoption rate. During phase one alone, member interaction with the Service Request Application improved by 100%, and increased a further 25% following phase two.

Over the course of our work, our team implemented a new licensing information digitization process. Using real-time validation on many forms, accuracy increased to almost 95%. We also eliminated human errors and inaccurate or redundant data, and cut the time spent on validation and proofreading to virtually zero. Additionally, a new discussion forum increased member communication by 35%.

Our successful code refactoring project made WTCA’s applications three times more resilient against external attacks and eliminated almost all security vulnerabilities within the system. Finally, we have helped our client with cost-optimization, reducing their hosting and licensing costs by more than 60%.

“The project manager at Asahi has been superb, very professional and very diligent in his communications to me. When I need assistance with business strategy, I'm able to pick up the phone and call Vinod [CEO] directly, and he responds immediately. I think that personal touch is what makes them stand out in comparison to other larger, more bureaucratic digital vendors I've dealt with in the past.”

Arun Manansingh, New York
Executive Director, World Trade Centers Association